Samsung Galaxy Unpacked Event 2021: Launch of Galaxy S21 series smartphone, Galaxy Buds Pro and Galaxy SmartTag
Samsung in its virtual Galaxy Unpacked event has announced the next flagship smartphones series: The Galaxy S21, S21+ and the Galaxy S21 Ultra. Alongside these three smartphones, the company has also announced the arrival of Galaxy Buds Pro and the Galaxy SmartTag which is a smart Bluetooth tracker.
The Galaxy S21 trio consist of the S21 Ultra which is the most expensive one and flaunts the highest specs in terms of phone size and hardwares. Galaxy S21 is the smallest and cheapest one among the three, while Galaxy S21+ is just a bigger size smartphone than S21 while the rest of the specifications are essentially the same.
Now we will take a quick look on the features and specifications of these smartphones:
The Galaxy S21 Ultra has a 6.8 inch screen, on the other hand S21 has the smallest 6.2 inch, while S21+ sits between these two with a 6.7 inch screen size. All the displays are protected by the latest Corning Gorilla Glass Victus protection. All the smartphones have Samsung’s inbuilt processor Exynos 2100 chipset, while the US and China market will get Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 chipset version of handsets. The Ultra model will boast a 5000 mAh battery, while the S21 plus model comes very close with 4800 mAh capacity and the smallest S21 will have the 4000 mAh battery. Coming to the back panel, the S21 will have a Glasstic panel, which is basically a plastic body, while the other two models will have Gorilla Glass back cover. And for the first time ever, Samsung is bringing the S Pen support to the S series of devices. However there is a catch, only the Ultra model will have the support for S Pen, and the other two phones won’t have the S Pen compatibility. So the S Pen is now optional and users can purchase it separately. Until now it is not clear whether Samsung is discontinuing the Note series of smartphones or not.
If we talk about the storage, the Ultra model can go upto a half terabyte of storage with 12GB RAM. And because it’s all Ultra, there is an option to go for a 16GB RAM variant as well. WoW 16GB?? The S21 plus and regular S21 model will come in 8GB RAM variants and either 128 or 258GB storage options. Samsung was among the few companies who was offering storage expansion through card slots, but it seems they have dropped the expansion capability altogether in the S21 series. There is no 3.5 mm jack for wired headphones and all the phones will have under display ultrasonic fingerprint sensors for secure biometric authentication.
If we talk about the camera capabilities. The Ultra model has Quad camera setup with 108MP (wide), 2 10MP telephoto cameras with different optical zoom settings and one 12MP ultra wide camera. There is presence of a laser auto focus sensor with the Quad camera setup as well. While the front of the S21 Ultra model has a 40MP selfie camera. On the other hand, S21 and the plus model have the same Triple camera setup with a 12MP (wide), 64MP (telephoto) and a 12MP (ultra-wide) sensor at the rear of the device. While the front has a 10MP selfie camera.
The most noticeable features and specs are:
- The display is now available with 120Hz adaptive refresh rate in all three models.
- Coming to the back panel, the S21 will have a Glasstic panel, which is basically a plastic body, while the other two models will have Gorilla Glass back cover.
- And for the first time ever, Samsung is bringing the S Pen support to the S series of devices. However there is a catch, only the Ultra model will have the support for S Pen, and the other two phones won’t have the S Pen compatibility. So the S Pen is now optional and users can purchase it separately. Until now it is not clear whether Samsung is discontinuing the Note series of smartphones or not.
- A 25W type-C fast charging support (which was 45W in S20 Ultra, don’t know why they brought the charging speed down). Each phone will support reverse wireless charging as well.
- The Ultra model is now available in a whooping 16GB RAM variant.
- None of the models will support storage expansion and 3.5mm jack is absent from all phones.
- The S21 Ultra will have a Quad camera setup with a laser autofocus sensor compared to the triple camera setup of S21 Plus and S21 models.
- There is support for Ultra Wide Band (UWB) in S21 Ultra and the S21 plus model. Ultra Wide Band is like “Super Bluetooth” and offers fast phone-to-phone file sharing and detection of device direction with great precision.
- All the three models will have multiple color options to choose from and all color names come with Phantom prefix.
- One more thing, Samsung is also following the industry trend and buyers will not get the charging brick inside the retail box. So don’t sell or lose your old fast chargers.
Pre-orders have been started at Samsung’s official website and you can buy the S21 Ultra at a beginning price of Rs 1,06,000, the S21+ at Rs 82000 and the S21 at starting price of Rs 70,000. With pre-order, buyers will also get the new Galaxy Smarttag with the devices and pre-order customers will get delivery from January 25. While the regular sale will start from January 29. Visit the official Samsung website for more details.
Now we should not forget about the other 2 products launched during the Galaxy Unpacked event.
The Galaxy Buds Pro are the latest Truly Wireless earbuds (TWS) presented by Samsung. It comes with an 11mm woofer and a 6.5mm tweeter. Company claims that the new earbuds with active noise cancellation can suppress the background noise by upto 99 percent. Earbuds are launched in three colors Phantom Black, Silver and Violet color options. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro is priced at Rs 15,990 in India.
The last product is the Galaxy SmartTag Bluetooth tracker priced at Rs . This smart tracker is essentially a Tile Tracker which can be tagged with other things such as Keys, bags or your pet and can later be tracked using GPS. Galaxy SmartTag works on Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). The Samsung Galaxy SmartTag includes a CR2032 battery that is replaceable and is claimed to last for months. The SmartTag price is set around Rs 2,249.
Google India has removed personal loan apps from its PlayStore that violated safety policies
Google on Thursday said that they have started taking action on some personal loan apps from the Play Store in India. In a blog post, Google wrote that they will remove any loan app on PlayStore that does not comply with local laws and regulations. The recent action is taken based on numerous flags submitted by users and government agencies. The review found an identified number of apps violated Play Store’s safety policies and they were immediately removed from the Store.
Large number of personal loan apps in India came into full swing last year, when due to the Corona pandemic several people were facing financial crunches. These apps offer quick loan approval and disbursement often with very minimal documentation and personal verification. Some even charge a processing fee of as high as Rs 2000 on loans of less than Rs 10,000 with tenures of 30 days or undertaking the interest rates to 60 per cent. The Indian banks in comparison charge annual interest rates of 10-20 per cent for loans that do not have to be paid back in full for at least a year. Most of these lending apps are found to access the contacts from the borrower’s phone which is later used to harass family members or friends and sadly few cases have lead to suicide of borrowers in few states.
Google did not elaborate on the number of apps that had been taken down. Company also added that they only allow personal loan apps with full repayment required in greater than or equal to 60 days from the date the loan is issued. Four apps 10MinuteLoan, Ex-Money and Extra Mudra and StuCred were taken down from the Play Store after Reuters flagged to Google that they were violating its ban on offering personal loans requiring full repayment in 60 days or less. Google has asked the developers of the remaining identified apps to demonstrate that they comply with applicable local laws and regulations.
Last month, RBI had cautioned the public not to fall prey to the growing number of unauthorized digital lending platforms and mobile apps. And my advice also would be to avoid these apps for now because there are no clear norms on lending apps in India and right now they fall in a grey zone.
Nvidia announces RTX 3060 for PCs, RTX 30 series for laptops
Adding to the RTX 3000 series, Nvidia announced a new RTX 3060 (the non-ti version) graphics card for desktops, with less CUDA cores but more 12GB VRAM compared to 8GB VRAM in 3060Ti. The boost clock frequency is also more compared to the 3060Ti card.
The GeForce RTX 3060 will be available in late February, starting at $329. And good luck in getting them because stock issues seem to be never ending term in the graphics card market.
Nvidia also said that RTX 30 series graphics card enabled gaming laptops will also become available starting January 26th. The laptops are using the Max-Q design, which allows laptop manufacturers to trim the width of the gaming laptop while ensuring the performance is not compromised.
AMD unveils Ryzen 5000 series mobile chipset
AMD’s CEO Dr. Lisa Su in CES 2021 keynote announced the Ryzen 5000 series mobile processors. The new series will have 13 different mobile processors in each chipset category: Ryzen 3, 5, 7 and 9. The new Ryzen 5000 series from AMD is classified into two categories — U-series and H-series. The ‘U’ category is for ultraportable low powered laptops, and the entry level chip in this category will be Ryzen 3 5300U with 4 Core and 8 Threads of processing power. While the ‘H’ series is high performance gaming laptops and the top-of-the-line chipset in the H-series is the Ryzen 9 5980HX with eight cores, 16 threads with a TDP of over 45 watts. These new HX series chipsets AMD says are meant for “serious gaming” and will power this year’s “best gaming notebooks.”
Although most of the processors are based on the Zen 3 micro-architecture, three of the U-series leverage the prowess of the older Zen 2 architecture.
The laptops powered by these processors are expected to hit shelves sometime next month while ASUS, Dell and Lenovo are announced to first get their hands-on first with these chips.
On the other hand, AMD rival Intel has also announced their news about the upcoming 8 core 16 threads CPU based on 11th Gen H Series Tiger Lake Architecture. These 35W and 45W 11th Gen CPU would also launch in Q1 2020. More details to be announced by Intel very soon.